After the unveiling of the second-generation Audi A5 Coupé, it is only a matter of time before the topless variant comes around. Now, introducing the all-new second-generation Audi A5 cabriolet, an A5 with a retractable roof. What’s more, even the high performance S5 gets the topless treatment too!
Based on the A5 Coupé, engineers and designers worked together to ensure that the driving dynamics of the Coupé is not compromised for aesthetic appeal. Thanks to overall chassis tuning, the A5 cabriolet boasts best in class torsional rigidity.
Aesthetically, the cabriolet is essentially a carbon copy of the A5 coupé except for few design touches. The classic soft top has been redesigned to provide superior aeroacoustics and insulation to the cabin. With a one-touch folding mechanism (up to 50km/h), the soft top folds away flushed into the rear compartment in 18 seconds and only takes a mere 15 seconds to put the roof back on when needed. At the rear, the third brake light is integrated into the roof cover elegantly, similar to the dimensions of the fixed roof version.
Moving to the inside, the A5 cabriolet receives a better interior packaging compared to the previous generation model. Wheelbase is extended by 14mm, shoulder room by 26mm and rear legroom by 18mm. Despite having a retractable roof, boot space is rated at a generous 380 litres and can be accessed via the powered tailgate, while the optional gesture control only requires a sweeping motion below the rear bumper.
With the roof down, wind buffeting may cause difficulties in registering voice commands. As such, Audi has installed seat belt microphones for the driver and passenger. This helps improve voice recognition. As standard, the A5 cabriolet comes with analogue instrument dials. However, the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit like the one on the Audi Q7 can be had as an option.
Other optional extras for the A5 cabriolet include heads-up display, ambient lighting with 30 adjustable colours, comfort key (keyless operation), Technology Pack (in-car mobile hotspot), 755 watts 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system and Matrix LED headlights.
Engine choices for the A5 cabriolet include a 249 hp 2.0-litre TFSI petrol, 187 hp 2.0-litre TDI diesel and a 215 hp 3.0-litre TDI diesel. A 187 hp 2.0-litre TFSI petrol and a 282 hp 3.0-litre TDI diesel will join the engine lineup soon after. According to Audi, all engines offer up to 17 percent more power and up to 22 percent more fuel efficient compared to the previous model.
A choice of six-speed manual, seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch or eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmissions can be had. Drive is sent to the front-wheels by default, but quattro all-wheel drive with Ultra-Technology is available as an option, except for the high-powered 282 hp 3.0-litre diesel which comes with quattro as standard.
Jumping into the Audi S5 cabriolet, the performance variant packs a 3.0-litre V6 TFSI under its hood developing 349 hp. Power is sent to all four-wheels courtesy of the quattro system and eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission. Century sprint time is smashed in 5.1 seconds and top speed is limited to 250 km/h.
A number of engineering innovations have been incorporated in developing the A5 cabriolet to make up for the loss in torsional rigidity. For starters, the car is now lighter by up to 40kg and 40 percent stiffer compared to the previous generation, thanks to a new mix of materials and geometrically lightweight design.
In addition to that, the five-link suspension on the front axle has been updated to provide better balance. At the rear, a new five-link suspension replaces the previous model’s trapezoidal-link suspension and further enhances driving dynamics. For more flexibility and control, the A5 comes with optional adaptive dampers and dynamic steering system that varies the steering ratio depending on speed and steering angle.
In regards to safety, the A5 cabriolet is packed with up to 30 of Audi’s latest driver’s assistance systems to keep occupants as safe as possible. Among the assistance systems is the adaptive cruise control (ACC) Stop&Go system with traffic jam assist. There’s also collision avoidance assist, turn assist, park assist, rear cross traffic assist, exit warning, camera-based recognition of traffic signs, Audi active lane assist and Audi side assist.
As for passive safety features, the A5 cabriolet is reinforced with additional strut bars, stronger sills, head-thorax side airbags and an automatic extending aluminium profiles when a crash is detected.
In the UK, the A5 cabriolet comes in three different variants plus the hotter S5 – SE, Sport and S line trims. For the base SE, the A5 cabriolet comes with Audi Smartphone Interface, leather upholstery, front seat heating, acoustic parking, three-zone climate control, 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels and xenon or LED headlamps.
Sport trim adds on front sport seats with electric adjustment, optional sports suspension (standard on the S-line), SD card-based MMI Navigation and full Audi Connect features on a three-month trial basis.
Lastly, the S5 cabriolet comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, S specific styling, front Super Sports seats finished in Fine Nappa leather, unique chassis settings and hard disc-based MMI Navigation Plus along with a three-year subscription to Audi Connect.
Audi Malaysia has expressed plans to introduce the A5 Sportback to our market, although we’re pretty sure the cabrio won’t make it here. However, the idea of having the A5 cabriolet to rival the RM359k C-Class cabriolet does sounds exciting.